Two Spaniards freed by Al-Qaeda arrive in Burkina Faso: AFP

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Two Spanish hostages released by Al-Qaeda's North African wing after nine months in captivity in Mali arrived Monday in the capital of neighbouring Burkina Faso, an AFP journalist said.

Albert Vilalta and Roque Pasqual touched down in a Burkinabe military helicopter at 5:51 p.m. (1751 GMT) near the presidency building in Ouagadougou and were welcomed by Spanish Secretary of State for Cooperation Soraya Rodriguez.

The two men -- who were visibly exhausted with one of them leaning on a crutch for support -- were then greeted by Burkina Faso's president Blaise Compaore. The pair were set to fly to Barcelona later Monday.

They were kidnapped in November in Mauritania and handed over to the North African branch of Osama bin Laden's terror network, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), who held them in Mali.

© 2010 AFP

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